SS Osmund and Andrew’s Primary School has a clear, consistent, whole school, approach to the teaching of phonics. High quality teaching of phonics is key to developing independent readers and is given the highest priority. We want ‘every child to be a reader’ (Ofsted’s ‘Reading by Six’ Report 2012) and we implement a very rigorous and sequential approach to developing speaking and listening and teaching reading, writing and spelling through systematic phonics.
We use the Letters and Sounds programme at SS Osmund and Andrew’s, as updated to meet the needs of the new national curriculum. Our principal aim is to develop the children’s phonological awareness, ability to segment and blend words and read common exception words on sight- to become fluent readers.
Our teaching at all levels should include: teacher exposition, whole class, group, individual work and Tricky word vocabulary.
We teach phonics as follows:
Nursery: Children access differentiated phase one teaching through short daily interactions and the learning environment provision. The emphasis during Phase one is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.
Reception: We teach Letters and Sounds daily for 20 minutes from the child’s start date. The children are taught in whole class groups, supported by teaching assistants, to ensure children are reaching their full potential and appropriate support is given. Our aim is that all children will have completed phase 2 and 3 by the end of the year and be ready to start phase 4 in Year One.
Year One: We teach Letters and Sounds daily for 30 minutes from the child’s start date. We differentiate the groups to ensure children are reaching their full potential and appropriate support is given. Our aim is that all children will have completed phase 4 and 5 by the end of the year and be ready to start phase 6 in Year Two. In the Summer Term of Year One the children sit the Phonics Screening Check. A statutory national phonics test to assess the children’s phonic ability.
Year Two: We teach Letters and Sounds daily for 30 minutes from the child’s start date in the autumn term. Children are taught phase 6 spelling and grammar rules through weekly grammar lessons and spelling teaching and learning is continued using Read Write Inc spelling programme.
Across Key stage Two: Further interventions to run for children who have not completed the Letters and Sounds Programme.
Phonics across the Curriculum: Children are encouraged to use their phonic skills across all curriculum subjects. All teachers and teaching assistants model the correct articulation of the phonemes and children are given opportunities to articulate individual phonemes. We have a strong emphasis on the application of phonic knowledge at the point of learning. Planning ensures each phonics session shows evidence of new learning not just consolidation.
At SS Osmund and Andrew’s Primary School out phonics teaching and learning is of the highest priority. Lessons are systematic, effective and enjoyable. Assessment is thorough and the children’s abilities are assessed regularly to address their developing needs. We hold regular parental support sessions throughout the year and from spring term the children can join our phonics club. Our phonics teaching and learning is closely linked to developing a love of reading in each and every child.
At SS Osmund and Andrew’s our aim is to nurture in our children a lifelong love of reading. The high profile of reading is evident in the way books, reading and storytelling are promoted throughout school. In addition to our main school library, each class has its own reading corner or area. These areas are stocked with a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts that children are encouraged to access during the school day.
Throughout the week all classes have slots on their timetables dedicated to reading in its different forms. These include: reading for research, shared reading, guided reading and reading comprehension. Each class also includes times in the week dedicated to reading for relaxation and enjoyment from a class story or novel.
In guided reading, children are grouped according to their current reading ability in order for them to access the right level of challenge and/or support. Within these groups we encourage children to be active rather than passive readers. Children are taught how to predict, clarify and summarise. They are also taught not only to answer increasingly complex types of questions but also to ask them.
Home reading is an important part of our pupils reading development and we work hard to encourage parents and carers to read with their children at home. 1-1 reading with an adult is a key way to support children in their reading journey and we cannot emphasise too highly how important it is.
Our Reading Scheme
When children first enter nursery they are taught early reading skills in school and may bring a book home to simply look at and discuss with their parent or carer. The purpose of this book is to consolidate early reading skills such as page turning, looking at the pictures and early ‘book talk’.
Reception children are provided with an appropriate home reading book once they are working at phonics phase 2. Books are carefully selected to ensure they are phonically decodable for the child. Children will continue to receive phonically decodable books that are directly linked to the phonics phase they are accessing in school until they are secure at phonics phase five. Children are then given books that consolidate the reading skills they are taught in school. The scheme is colour banded for progression and covers a wide variety of genres and subjects to maintain reader interest. Progress through the scheme is monitored closely to ensure that each child moves along at a pace appropriate to their individual skills.
Further Reading Initiatives
Our school supports a wide variety of activities and initiatives throughout the year to maintain the high profile of reading. Although World Book Day and Pyjamarama are fun days that we dedicate to reading and books, they are also ways to raise awareness and money for reading charities.
We also hold competitions, quizzes and challenges that encourage gentle reading rivalry within and between classes. Our annual book fair is well supported by our children and their families, and the commission we make allows us to buy new stock for our library. Visits from authors, poets and librarians have been other ways we have used to engage children’s interest in reading. Last year we even had a visit by the Book Bus.